Adventures in bubble wrap

We had a heating/energy efficiency specialist come through the house to look at our energy efficiency and suggest ways to improve it. He had a lot of recommendations, including insulating the skylight in our kitchen. It was suggested we could do it with bubble wrap. I had never heard of such a thing! Who knew bubble wrap was a valid choice in building supplies?

rollAfter doing some research I found the larger the bubbles the better – large bubbles let more light through and are supposedly more insulating. I spent an afternoon calling packaging suppliers in Canberra asking after the diameter of the bubbles in their bubble wrap. I’m fairly sure people thought I was pranking them. I eventually found a supplier with 25mm bubble bubble wrap and ordered 50 meters which arrived this morning.

We knew the skylight was a DIY job – our place has been the victim of an unskilled but very enthusiastic DIY-er whose work we are slowly undoing – but we didn’t realise how dodgily done it was until we pulled it apart this morning. It is just a hole cut in the ceiling, and some clear corrugated fiberglass on the roof! It’s not even airtight! Not exactly smart in this climate.

holeWe cut lots of nice neat lengths of bubble wrap and bundled them up into a nice 25cm deep pillow of craziness-inspired bubbles and fitted it into the cavity.

stack battThe next step is to run a layer of a draught stopping tape between the frame and the perspex to really improve the seal.

It’s a been a very overcast week since we did our insulating so I’m not sure exactly how much light we’re going to lose from the skylight, but it looks okay for the moment. Perfectionist me can see the join from where we wrapped the bubble wrap around the lengths to give the bundle a bit more width to ensure it is airtight, but, realistically, we don’t spend a lot of time looking up at the ceiling!

skylightWe can really feel a difference now that we’ve sealed up the skylight.

Stay tuned for adventures in curtains and insulation.

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